City Guide: Vancouver, British Columbia
Review: Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver
Review: Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver
Review: YVR Maple Leaf Lounge
American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts
When we visited Vancouver for a weekend back in March, Chris, and I wanted to take advantage of American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts' hotel deals so we stayed one night at one hotel and one night at another. If you've never heard of AmEx FHR, it's an awesome program that you get to take advantage of if you're an American Express Platinum card holder. Since the Platinum card comes with a pretty hefty annual fee ($450), I don't have the card myself, but luckily, Chris does. When you book through FHR, you get the following benefits:
Depending on how often you travel and stay in hotels, this can be an awesome value. Back in March, all of the big Vancouver hotels were having awesome deals, so AmEx FHR's pricing was extremely reasonable as a result.
Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver
Because we usually fly out late on Friday nights, we got into Vancouver around 12 AM and hopped on the SkyTrain into the city. From Waterfront Station, we walked over to the Fairmont Waterfront, which was about a 10-15 minute walk (depending on how much wine you drank during the flight). The lobby was expansive with a restaurant and bar to the right of the entrance, although it was mostly deserted by the time we arrived. The front desk agent was very nice and checked us in quickly while outlining the FHR benefits for our stay. We then headed up to the 5th floor to our room.
The room was very nice and we lucked out with a larger king room that had a full sitting area to the right when you walked in and a desk near the window. Although you can't tell from the pictures below (taken around 1 AM), we did get a view of the Harbour, which was nice, but we ended up with gray, cloudy weather the next day, so the view wasn't as great as it could have been!
The bathroom wasn't anything special, but it was definitely nice and fit with the vibe of the rest of the room. Apparently it was so run-of-the-mill, that I completely forgot to take a photo of it, but I did snap the toiletries, which were pretty fancy. They were Le Labo Rose 31, which was really nice, given that an 8 oz bottle of shower gel runs $50. Also, who pays that for shower gel?!
Since we had a $100 food and beverage credit to burn along with free breakfast the next morning (thus, no other way to spend our credit) and were already a little drunk from our flight up to Vancouver, we did the logical thing and immediately ordered a ~$100 bottle of sparkling wine from room service. The funny thing was, we later saw the same bottle of sparkling wine retailing for $17 in a wine shop. Quite the markup, room service!
After a nice, but short, night of sleep, we dragged ourselves out of bed to make the 10:30 AM breakfast cutoff. Breakfast was in ARC Restaurant, which was to the right of the lobby when you walk in the hotel entrance. We were seated and had the option of a cold breakfast buffet (included in our rate), a warm buffet upgrade ($9 more), or were also given the option to order an item off the menu for up to $25. Chris chose the hot buffet, which had a selection of eggs, meats, pancakes, and french toast, along with all items from the cold buffet (yogurt, cheeses, cereals, etc.), and I had a build your own omelet from the breakfast menu. The food was good, but I was glad it was included in the rate, because it was a bit expensive and probably not worth the price. In the end, our waitress decided not to charge Chris for the add on of the hot buffet since he only had one plate of food, which was really nice of her.
Overall, the Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver was a great option for a weekend in Vancouver. The hotel is nice, the rooms are comfortable and well-appointed, and the location across from Coal Harbour and the convention center is really nice.
Just a twenty-something with a full-time job and a full-time obsession with traveling. It's best to LiveTraveled.